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Tweaking Bill O'Reilly

{mosimage}Yellow Thunder Woman hates God. The outspoken lead singer of the L.A.-based filmmaking/musical duo the Bastard Fairies,she has no problems airing her grievances with a diverse panorama of divine entities. “Jesus, Buddha, Allah... ‘stone power’ or whatever it is those hippies up in Ojai are into,” she says between sips of white wine. “I think they’re all equally contemptible.”

Sitting next to her in the dimly lit living room of his Van Nuys apartment, Yellow Thunder Woman’s partner, Robin Davey, nods along in agreement. “Christians think that dinosaurs were just regular lizards that lived for 500 years and kept on growing,” he says. “These people are running the country.”

Though interesting theologically, the entire conversation is a bit of a non sequitur. We were talking about Bill O’Reilly, who, though Catholic, has yet to take a public position on dinosaur evolution. Then again, atheistic rants have served the Bastard Fairies well thus far.

In November, while brainstorming ideas for promotional videos to put on their Web site, the Bastard Fairies decided music videos weren’t enough — they wanted to expound their anti-religious beliefs. “As long as we’re promoting ourselves we might as well be honest and tell people what we’re all about,” says Davey.

After writing a script, on the day of the shoot they decided religion wasn’t enough — it would be fun to lay into the aforementioned Mr. O’Reilly as well. “I just happened to see him on Oprah that day,” says Yellow Thunder Woman. “I thought, ‘This guy is a fucking imbecile. We’ll nail him too while we’re at it.’”

With an 8-year-old girl cast as its star, the video showed her calling O’Reilly an “idiot” and saying “religion has caused the genocide of nations” and that worshipping O’Reilly’s “fictitious God” would make her go “medieval on someone’s ass.” Davey posted the video on YouTube, and within a week it had 10,000 hits. “This is getting big,” Davey remembers thinking at the time. He had no idea.

As it turned out, Bill O’Reilly himself was among those to see the video. Television’s angriest talking head was not pleased. O’Reilly responded to the video by airing it on his Fox News cable program and calling the Fairies “nutso” and “child abusers,” among other things, while suggesting that social services open a case to track down the little girl. Thankfully for the little girl, social services stayed away, but the attention did not. The video exploded across the blogosphere, and a million and a half hits and several death threats later, these child-abusing atheists became the 18th most subscribed-to band in the history of YouTube, right behind platinum-selling MC Mike Jones.

{mosimage}Now, with the O’Reilly affair having pushed them into the public eye, the Bastard Fairies are looking to make the transition from the Internet to the world of indie rock. Though the history of Internet celebrity wouldn’t seem to bode well for their prospects (would you buy a Tom-from-MySpace album?), the Bastard Fairies appear to be on their way.

Yellow Thunder Woman, 25, a Yankton Sioux Indian and the youngest daughter of American Indian Movement activist Greg Zephier, and Davey, 31, the former bass player of Britain’s most popular white-guy blues-band the Hoax, met more than a decade ago when Davey flew to South Dakota to produce her brothers’ band Indigenous. The two kept in touch, and when Davey and his band signed a deal with Interscope in 2003, Yellow Thunder Woman followed him to Los Angeles.

Shortly thereafter, while “waiting for Interscope to get its shit together,” the pair managed to hit up Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics for $25,000 to make a documentary about the U.S. government’s genocidal policy toward Native Americans. “Robin’s band was fucking awful,” says Yellow Thunder Woman, who is known as Wakinyan among friends. “I wanted to collaborate with him on something good.” Their film, The Canary Effect, premiered at Tribeca in 2006 and is currently making the festival rounds.

The success of the film convinced Davey to ditch Interscope and start working with Yellow Thunder Woman full time. The two decided to give music a try and began filming impromptu musical jam sessions and posting the videos and tracks on their Web site. “I was tired of all the crap bands out there,” she says. “White Stripes my ass, how about something good?”

Whether a testament to the Fairies’ musical ability or to the enduring cultural cachet of being an object of O’Reilly’s rage, the band claims more than a million tracks have been downloaded from their Web site, and their debut album, Memento Mori, was released in stores on April 10. Recorded largely with the aid of Garageband, thrift shop guitars and children’s toys, the album isn’t so much about music as it is a vehicle for Yellow Thunder Woman’s irono-snarkic lyrics (“Little boys who choke the chicken, you are going to hell”).

Regardless of how the album does, you can expect to see plenty more of the Fairies in the near future — at least parts of them. Yellow Thunder Woman and her rather spectacular cleavage were recently featured in Playboy’s “Women on the Verge” section — just a nip slip thus far, but it shouldn’t be too long a wait for the full frontal. A layout has already been shot and is allegedly set for release in the near future.

“I have no problem taking my clothes off,” she says as our conversation wraps up. “I could have done this interview naked if you wanted me too.”

Now she tells me. There is no God.

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